Night Guard Material: BPA, Phthalates, MMA Concerns

safety-first.jpgBPA

In recent years, many people have become much more cognizant of potentially harmful chemicals contained in a wide range of plastic products. For example BPA (bisphenol A)- now essentially a household name- is a chemical used to harden plastics that can be found in water bottles, food cans, plastic containers, dental sealants, and many other manufactured commodities. According to WebMD, animal testing has raised concerns that BPA in large amounts could affect hormone levels as well as cause brain and behavioral issues, cancer, heart problems, and other conditions such as diabetes and ADHD. It is no surprise, then, that people often question whether dental materials and appliances contain BPA. Individuals who suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism) may be particularly concerned as teeth night guards are used directly in the mouth for long periods of time and experience a high level of wear-and-tear.

Luckily, teeth grinders can rest assured that teeth night guards produced in dental laboratories do not put them at risk of BPA exposure. According to the American Dental Association, BPA is not actually used as a primary ingredient in any modern dental materials. It only has the potential to appear in residual amounts due to its use in the production of other dental composites and sealants. Additionally, it may appear in trace amounts due to deterioration in the oral cavity after exposure to saliva over time. However, both of these scenarios do not apply to teeth night guards. BPA exposure is not a risk in night guards, including those purchased online by ProTeethGuard.

Phthalates

Another concern that has been raised by bruxism patients seeking out a teeth night guard is whether the materials contain phthalates. The CDC defines phthalates as such:

“Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. They are used in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes (raincoats), and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes).

Phthalates are used widely in polyvinyl chloride plastics, which are used to make products such as plastic packaging film and sheets, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage containers, medical tubing, and some children's toys.”

In regards to their effects on human health, the CDC comments, “Human health effects from exposure to low levels of phthalates are unknown. Some types of phthalates have affected the reproductive system of laboratory animals. More research is needed to assess the human health effects of exposure to phthalates.” As with any chemical substance, concern regarding the safety of phthalates is quite understandable. More information on phthalates can be found on the CDC's website here: http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/phthalates_factsheet.html. Although phthalates are used in the processing of some forms of vinyl, they are not used in the processing of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) vinyl. EVA vinyl, which is considered a safe alternative by health safety watchdogs, is the soft flexible material used to create our soft night guard and is also used as the soft inner layer of our hybrid night guard. Our hard acrylic night guard does contain dialkyl phthalate, a plasticizer that gives the material its thermoplastic nature, but this particular phthalate is not deemed dangerous and is not to be confused with other chemicals with similar names.

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)

We received an inquiry regarding the chemical MMA (methyl methacrylate). In the past, this chemical was commonly used in nail salons for the application of acrylic (fake) nails. The FDA received many serious complaints by salon-goers regarding the safety of this chemical, as it was causing severe irritation when applied directly to the skin and nail bed as a liquid. In response, the FDA prohibited its use in nail salons by the end of the 1970s. Beyond this, methyl methacrylate is used much differently for safer consumer purposes such as the creation of plexiglass, building siding, advertising signs, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and medical cement for bone replacements according to the EPA. These are much different scenarios, as these items are cured and sealed. MMA is a concern for individuals who come in direct contact with the chemical, such as workers who manufacture these products. Given the fact that hard teeth guards are made using acrylic, it’s understandable that a bruxism patient  might be concerned about MMA exposure. Rest assured, our hard and ultra thin teeth guards don't put our customers at risk for irritataion due to MMA exposure.

Here at ProTeethGuard, we truly care about the health, wellness, and safety of our customers. That’s why we’ve selected only the highest quality materials available to us in the dental industry for the creation of our teeth night guards. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our teeth guards, we’re always more than happy to research and answer your questions! Feel free to contact us at 1-888-467-5650 or contact us via the contact form.

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